Mailport November 15, 1999 Issue

PS Advisor 11/15/99

Sunk Boat Clean-up
A couple of days ago my 23-foot S2 sailboat sank in the slip due to a defective seal in the through-hull for the depthsounder transducer. The lake was freshwater with lots of green algae. My boat was under the water for 48 hours. The S2 has carpet along the walls and overhead. The foam rubber cushions in the V-berth and other berths were all saturated with water. Its impossible to wring them out. It is just a question of time before the mildew sets in and ruins my boat unless I do something quickly. The outboard motor also spent two days under water.

Max LaBranche
via e-mail

We have not written about this problem. But heres what we would do:

Get the outboard motor to a repairer/dealer as quickly as possible. The more time in the air the more time to corrode. If you act quickly, so the repairer can tear it down and clean/dry, it should be fine, especially as it was freshwater.

Remove everything wet from the boat that you can. The cushions can be replaced. Wed worry more about water in the plywood bulkheads, which could delaminate and be a nightmare to replace.

Open up the boat as best you can and leave it that way until rain threatens. Use fans to increase ventilation and help dry things. When done, an ozone generator (West Marine sells several Panda models) allowed to run overnight in the closed boat will kill any mildew spores.

Fiberglass components should be fine.

Spring Cleats
I have two questions. 1. What is your opinion on the use of genoa track-mounted midships cleats? 2. Is there an outlet for deck hardware that has a large selection of cleats from which I could select an appropriate cleat or alternative hardware to fit my application?

Relevant details: Our boat is a 1976 Fuji 32' ketch. Displacement 14,500 lbs. The marina is fairly protected though can be a little rough in a blow. Id prefer the type offered by Spartan that is imbedded in the toe rail in the manner seen on the Cape Dory. This application type fits the boat well. The problem is that the preferred location, midships, is under a very long genoa track. I have examined a lot of boats and those that have midships cleats are either inappropriate for our boat or impossible to mount.

Id appreciate your thoughts on spring cleats, particularly on the track mount.

James Thompson
via e-mail

Midships cleats are great. Spring lines are primary in holding a boat a foot or so off a dock and keep the boat from moving fore and aft. The bow and stern lines are merely to keep each from swinging too much.

We had a Mariner 32, which is almost exactly like your Fuji. We wouldnt mount a cleat on the toerail. It might jerk it loose. You could mount it on the genoa track; it certainly should be strong enough.

On the Mariner, we installed Herreshoff-type hollow cleats. (See p. 553, items K or L of the current West Marine catalog.) Buy really big ones because on a single cleat youll wind up with two lines, a fender and maybe a short line to pull the boat nearer the dock. We mounted them on teak pads high enough to clear the toe rail. They were placed an inch inside the toerail to permit water to run aft along the rail. The cleats have four bolt holes. We drilled straight through the teak deck and the plywood beneath (measuring repeatedly to make sure they came through in a nice clear underdeck location). We used very long stainless bolts (which had to be trimmed below to look neat. With a couple of stainless washers on each bolt, we think you could pick up the boat with those two cleats.

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